Volume 1 of a projected complete cycle of the Beethoven Sonatas for Piano, featuring the young Italian pianist Christian Leotta. Born in Catania, Italy, Leotta has made a speciality of the Beethoven Piano sonatas. Appearing in Montreal in 2002 at the age of 22, he was the youngest pianist since Barenboim to undertake the complete cycle of the 32 sonatas in recital. Since then, Leotta has performed ten complete cycles in Madrid, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Vancouver, Venice and Quebec City, as well as his native Italy.
Leotta was a student of Karl Ulrich Schnabel, and has also studied at the International Piano Foundation on Lake Como, the Milan Conservatory with Mario Patuzzi, with Rosalyn Tureck at the Tureck Bach Research Foundation at Oxford. In 2004 he was the recipient of the President’s Medal of the Italian Republic, for his performances of Beethoven’s 32 Piano sonatas in Europe and the Americas.
Written between 1794 and1823, Beethoven’s Piano sonatas bear witness to the full evolution of Beethoven’s genius: they range from the sonatas of his youth, when he was still indebted to Mozart, Clementi, and Dussek, through the experiments of his middle period, and up to the strict and concise forms of his final masterpieces. This 2-disc set ranges from the opus 13, Pathétique,” (composed in 1798 when Beethoven was about the same ages Leotta now is), through the opus 111, the last of cycle.